Post # 1
I am literally at my breaking point with my FI dog. Yesterday he attacked on of my shih-tzus and bit her in the eye. (he is a blue heeler) Blood was streaming out of her eye and I had to rush her to the vet. This is the second time this has happened. Yes, the second time.
The first time I was not ok with it, but this time, I am so over it. My shih tzu is like 50% blind and so she accidentally bumped into the other dog and he attacked her.
FI recognizes that he is agressive but has yet to do anything with him. He has also attacked my parents dog numerous times and I literally just broke down and cried today. I dont want his dog around anymore, I want FI to send him to live with his parents on their land, but I cant ask him to do this. I am so angry I dont know what to do.
Any sort of advice yall have for me would be so helpful.
Post # 3
@HoneyBear: Wow… it is unaccetable that your FI refuses to take responsibility for his dog’s dangerous behavior. What will he do when his dog attacks a stranger’s dog and they sue him for their $1000 vet bill? Does your FI want children of his own? What will he do when it’s his own child that is bleeding from the eye? What if the dog attacks someone else’s child? What will he do when a court of law orders that his dog be put down?
You are absolutely within your rights to suggest ways to keep your dog safe if your FI fails to come up with viable solutions of his own. Personally, I would suggest that he takes the dog to a reputable obedience trainer to see if this dog’s aggression can be dealt with, and have the dog muzzled in the meantime. Otherwise, isolating the dog from other dogs and children might be the only way to prevent a tragedy.
Post # 4
If he isn’t going to take responsbility and discipline his dog, he is sort of chosing the dog over.. well… you, and your dog, and every other dog this dog attacks, and anyone else that is affected by this aggressive animal. That is not okay. He needs to take responsibility for this dog. I would feel hurt that he cares more about this dog than everyone else involved, which he is essentially doing by not caring more about your feelings, your dog, and the countless others that have been or could be hurt.
Post # 5
Yeah, I guess thats why I broke down today. I was feeling so many emotions and I am just so upset about it. I asked the vet about obedience traning but its very expensive.
I am literally now afraid to leave the dogs alone at home together. Do yall think it would be awful to crate him while we arent home? He is a medium sized dog
Post # 6
That sounds difficult. You may want to look online and see if you can find a really good veterinary behaviorist or animal behavior specialist- especially if you can find someone with the right degrees and credentialing or certification (since you’re dealing with aggression). This site is by a veterinary behaviorist who has several training videos. A couple of them address biting, but may not address your specific problem. They are good resources, though, since biting may not be the only issue- a loack or training, fearfulness, and dominance may all be playing a part.
In the mean time, do NOT leave them roaming the room together. At all. It is clearly dangerous not only for other dogs, but for your FI’s dog- since he could also get hurt. If you want to have both dogs out and haven’t found a way to keep them safely together, put one on a leash and don’t let them too close to each other. You may have to do this for a long time, and it may be very inconvenient, but your dogs are worth it to you. Don’t give them the opportunity to bump in to one another, and you’ll probably save yourself a lot of time and heartache on vet bills fixing bite wounds.
A muzzle may also work as a temporary tool, but some dogs can learn to work around them (and if you use one temporarily while you’re working on the dog’s actual problems, introduce it slowly and try not to stress him out). The muzzle isn’t a solution, it’s just a very temporary workaround for those very short amounts of time when you may have to have the dogs together and you’re concerned about safety.
If you find a trainer, DON’T go with one who is very aggressive, dominance-based, etc. Instead, go for someone who is willing to help you find positive workarounds and potential solutions. Honestly, you may never be able to leave him unsupervised with other dogs if he’s extremely aggressive to them. If that’s the case, being around them probably stresses him out more than anything else, and the best thing to do may be to give your dogs supervised attention together (not near one another, but possibly in the same room), and tons of individual attention apart. Good luck!
Post # 7
@hedgeknits: Thank you for your reply… I am heading over to that site now to check it out. I’m willing to try anything :/
Post # 8
@HoneyBear: Crating a dog isn’t awful, depending on how long he’ll be in the crate and how you introduce it. If you’re going to start crating him, introduce it as a slow and positive thing- feed him and give him treats in the crate, etc. You want the crate to be a safe bedroom he can use to relax and be away from other dogs, not a scary prison. You can find guides online for crate training dogs.
Also, you mention being afraid to leave them at home alone together. I’m going to reiterate that you *not* do this. Your FI’s dog isn’t necessarily a “bad” dog. Some dogs are very dog-aggressive, and may actually be stressed out with other dogs around. You know this dog cannot be with other dogs. Do not leave them together alone- ever. You can use baby gates or closed doors to keep them in separate rooms in the house, you can keep him on a leash when you’re home or just spend time with him separately, you can crate them away from one another, etc. But don’t leave them alone- you already know it’s a recipe for disaster, so leaving him and your other dog alone together would be very, very, irrespnsible.
Post # 9
@HoneyBear: Definitely not awful! I would absolutely crate one or the other! Your dog’s life is at stake! If this a repeat offense, unfortunately its not gonna stop any time soon! I have been in the animal industry/vet industry for the past 8 years and have a degree in animal behavior- do not trust your FI’s dog! I have a large dog myself and he was ALWAYS confined. This for everyone’s safety including his own! Being crated is not a bad thing-if done correctly-99% of dogs are actually more comfortable in their crate than any place else! I cannot count the many sad stories of housemate dogs killing eachother/other pets in the house- its horrible! and its preventable! If your FI is not willing to spend the money on a trainer, the dog needs to be removed! I understand that you may be apprehensive about asking him to do this but the other bees have a point– it doesnt end with your dog- what about kids? I would never introduce children into a home with an animal that has a bite history- human or not! I have just seen too many bad things happen! I would sit down with your FI, have a group discussion with your vet and a trainer and really hash out the possibilities-its not fair to you or your dog!
Post # 10
I think it’s fair to have a serious conversation about this dog… if it is attacking other dogs that is not ok. I know he is probably attached to him but if he is not willing to get some extra training for the dog.. then it needs to go. It’s not safe for your dog or YOU to be around it if it really attacks dogs like that. Now, I know dogs that play and accidentally injure, but is it playing or attacking?
Post # 11
@kperry3: No, he definitely has some agression issues, FI knows that. He is mainly agressive towards larger dogs and will attack them if he feels threatened I guess? My parents dog is bigger than him, but he is a big softy and doesnt have that pack mentality of wanting to be the alpha male and so he (my parents dog) is confused I think.
Occasionally my FI dog and my other dog (not the one he bit) will wrestle and play and he is pretty gentle with him.
Post # 12
How long has your dog and your FI’s dog been living together? If it’s recent did he move into your house or you his? It sounds like it could be territorial and a bit of jealousy. If it is territorial you are going to want to keep the dogs separated for a while and slowly acclimate them. If it’s jealousy maybe your FI and you can find some quality time to spend with him/her so he doesn’t feel like such a “bad” dog. He can’t say hey my feelings are hurt and you keep yelling at me he can only take it out on the catalyst your shitzu. You should really try to become friends with him/her it sounds like the pup is hurting inside. Spending a nice 30 minute walk or a 30 minute training session with treats will do wonders for everyone while slowly acclimating the dogs. Remember you shouldn’t show favoritism because dogs know and they get jealous. I know that is so hard but in sure with a little effort you all can have a major impact on the jealous pup.
Post # 13
Oh boy. If I may ask, how expensive is the training? You might want to ‘shop’ around for a trainer. I agree with PP to NOT go for places that say, “Well Behaved Dog in Two Weeks’.
I feel so bad for you and your other dog…and actually for the aggressive dog too because it sounds like FI doesn’t want to take responsibility for him. If this is your FI’s dog, he needs to take action of some sort meaning…TRAINING.
I can offer a book that our trainer wrote called Scaredy Dog by Ali Brown. Her website is http://www.greatcompanions.info
She might be able to put you in touch with a trainer in your area. Good luck and keep us posted.
Post # 14
- Wedding: December 2010 - Al Cielo / La Laguna
Oh hon!! I am so sorry. My heart is just breaking cause I can only imagine if it were Wicket or Bravo that had been hurt! If your shih-tzu is anything like my two he is probably a big pushover and dosn’t know what to do with an agressive dog.
I have to ask. Is your FI’s dog fixed? If not, it will help with the agression. I have seen dogs with problems like this and the older they get, the worse they get.
And for sure crate him until you find a way to have him behave. If there is no solution your FI needs to find other arangements for him. He needs a home without other animals.
Post # 15
@muckmoo1: I would agree that I rarely spend quality time with his dog, but mostly because of the way he acts. I could definitely try and take him on more walks and stuff.
@meerkat: Yes, he is fixed! He got him fixed at like 2 years old and he said ever since he did that he started being agressive towards other dogs. ugh
@stephinPA: I am gonna check out that book, thanks for the rec.
His dad offered to take him for a month or so, but we have yet to take him over there.
We found a trainer to take him to, but he wants to charge us $90/hr…OUCH. We dont have the money to put to that right now. We are gonna check out petsmart and see if they are a lil more reasonable.
Post # 16
- Wedding: September 2010 - MacLean Park
My husband has a red heeler, and she’s also pretty pissy around other dogs. I’ve also known a seriously angry blue heeler male, that was just heinous. He was completely blind, and only had three legs, and would pee on you if you stood too close to him. I hate that dog. They make really great single pets, though, they just don’t seem to get along with other dogs when they don’t know them well enough yet. I introduced my boxer pup to my husband’s heeler when she was about 7 months old and mine was 8 weeks. They’re not total best friends, and that heeler has her back all the time. She’ll fight other dogs to keep them away from her. But if your dog shows excessive aggression towards humans, or dogs when you’re out walking, training is definitely in order. In the meantime, I’d seach for ways to socialize the two so they become friends, rather than competitors (according to the heeler). They’re super pack loyal, so once your dogs are in, the heeler will protect rather than attack them. Good luck!